Officials at the West Virginia State Police Academy are reviewing the recommendations in a report commissioned by Gov. Joe Manchin after a student at the academy was knocked unconscious and got a blood clot in his brain during training in April.
"We are moving forward in implementing some of those," State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said. "We constantly update and review the curriculum and confer with the law enforcement subcommittee about training issues and we're taking the recommendations in the report under advisement."
The report suggests are reviewing the entire training curriculum for the academy, altering the baton training -- the activity where the cadet was injured -- and videotaping the training, among other recommendations.
"We're always open to new ideas to make it more effective and efficient and to ultimately ensure a safer environment for our cadets and basic officers," Baylous said.
On April 5, Princeton police officer Christopher Winkler participated in required baton training where two instructors acted as assailants. During the training, Winkler was knocked unconscious.
Winkler's mother, Pamela McPeak, said an instructor told her that he saved Winkler's life by pulling two other instructors off Winkler when they continued to beat him while he was unconscious.
Kanawha County prosecutor Mark Plants requested a second investigation into the incident. Kanawha County assistant prosecutor Dan Holstein contacted the Legislature's Commission on Special Investigations, which he said agreed to look into the incident.
Plants said Friday that he is still waiting on the commission's report. He said he wanted the commission to do the investigation because they were independent of the State Police and other law enforcement agencies.
"It's taken longer than expected. We do expect it shortly," he said. "Then it'll be just like anything else. We'll look at the evidence, review the witness statements and determine whether there is probable cause to bring charges."
According to McPeak, her son was singled out by several of the training officers at the academy.
The Manchin-commissioned investigation could not determine whether the blood clot sustained happened or did not happen during the training incident where he was knocked unconscious.
The report also describes an incident before the baton training where Winkler suffered blows to the head -- a boxing exercise with State Police Sgt. Rob Petry. The training instructor told the commission that he hit Winkler with "glancing blows." Winkler said he received two black eyes and a concussion and that most of the blows were to his head.
The report commissioned by Manchin was created by a four-person panel headed by Ivin B. Lee, director of the state Human Rights Commission and a member of the Law Enforcement Training Subcommittee. It interviewed nine people, including Winkler, several State Police troopers involved in the training and Princeton Police Chief William Roper. It did not interview more than 45 other students in Winkler's class.